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A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 118BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – On one side, there was this matter of inconsistency, a certain one-step-up-one-step-back phenomenon.

On the other, there was this hard work and persistence looking for a pay-off.

It was the classic case of two Lebanon County squads both in desperate need of a win.

On Saturday evening at Lebanon Valley College’s Lou Sorrentino Gymnasium, in the middle game of the ninth annual Rhoades Foundation Classic, it was the Palmyra boys’ basketball team which got its need met, with a 70-54 triumph over Lebanon High. After forging a multiple-possession lead in the second period, the Cougars weathered a number of Cedar runs in the third and early portions of the fourth quarters.

A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 092The victory was only Palmyra’s second in its last ten outings and lifted it to 3-9 on the season. The result made Lebanon 4-7 overall.

“Winning’s important, but that doesn’t make it a difficult season,” said Palmyra head coach Pete Conrad. “I have great kids who are working hard. When they don’t get the result they’re looking for, I have to do a better job.

“The record isn’t where I want it to be,” continued Conrad. “But ‘disappointing’ is the wrong word. We’re hopeful. At this point of the season, you’re either getting better or worse. I’ve had both.”

“We’ve taken more steps back than forward,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “I don’t think as a group we’re progressing as fast as we should be. We’ve got to go back and figure it out. We have to try to make things better, and with a different outcome.

“We’re facing murders’ row now (against Lancaster-Lebanon Section One beasts Hempfield, Cedar Crest and Manheim Township),” Speraw continued. “We’re playing everyone who’s tied for first place over the next two weeks. We need to get better and we have to do it fast.”

A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 114During the second half, Lebanon sliced into the Cougars’ eight-point halftime lead on a number of occasions. But each time, Palmyra had an answer.

Back-to-back buckets from Luis Aquino-Rios in the middle of the third stanza drew the Cedars to within 40-36, and a driving lay-up by Lebanon’s Sincere Scott two minutes later made it a 45-40 game.

“The fact that Lebanon is very good at pressing the basketball, they can turn you over,” said Conrad. “We were tough with the ball. We didn’t hang our heads and didn’t let it become a run. They also have some very talented offensive players, so they’re going to have an answer.”

“It’s pretty tough,” said Speraw. “I thought we were doing a good job defensively. But when a team takes more free throws in the fourth quarter than we do in the entire game, that’s tough to combat. That makes it pretty difficult.”

A lay-in from Felix Kortright pulled the Cedars to within 48-45, 1:38 into the fourth quarter, and a charity toss by Scott cut the Cougar lead to 50-46.

But over the final four minutes of the contest, the Cougars outscored the Cedars 15-4 to pull away. Nine of those points were the result of Nick Jelliff’s nine-for-ten free throwing, while sophomore Kasey Shughart contributed four points and Kyle Wasilewski added a deuce.

“I thought we played very well,” said Conrad. “Shughart had 17. Jake Bender stepped up and hit some big threes. We did a really nice job of playing the lead.

“Obviously, you’re looking for a little validation,” Conrad added. “These kids are working hard. We played really inspired basketball.”

A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 087“I give them a lot of credit,” said Speraw of the Cougars. “Part of what scared me coming in is that they play hard, they execute their stuff and their kids know their roles and embrace them. They did that better than us. I don’t think we understand our roles, and that’s my fault. We gave them some confidence and they built on it. They took advantage of it.”

Palmyra attempted an astonishing 40 free throws, making 26 of them and outscoring the Cedars by 11 points at the foul stripe. The Cougars also outscored Lebanon 18-3 from beyond the arc.

Jelliff went 14-for-16 at the free throw line and poured in a game-high 24 points, while Shughart struck for a career-high 17 points. Aquino-Rios tallied 20 Cedar points and Scott scored 15.

“He’s a super tough kid,” said Conrad of Shughart. “He’s got a little bit of an ability to rise. He’s not afraid of the moment. Being willing to attack and not being passive was one of the keys to the win. It was comfortable with him attacking in t he middle.”

A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 104“I could not ask for more of Luis this year,” said Speraw of Aquino-Rios. “He fit in so well with that group of kids last year, and now he’s having to carry the load. He’s trying. There’s no one in the locker room who wants to win more than Luis. He leaves it all out on the court. He plays as well as anybody.”

The Cougars’ lead originated from early in the second period.

A three-pointer from Jake Wagner gave Palmyra a 27-20 margin, 3:42 into the period. And a foul shot from Shughart provided the Cougars with a 33-25 advantage at the break.

“You hope it’s all of those things,” said Conrad. “You hope your guys are working really hard and your guys are believing in what we’re trying to do. I really like this group. When things aren’t going your way you’ve got to keep working and believing in the things we’re teaching.”

The opening quarter featured five lead changes and two ties. One of those lead changes came at the buzzer, when Wagner beat it with a three-pointer to give the Cougars a 17-15 edge.

A-C, LHS Palm Boys' B-Ball 128“I would say I’m not happy with our overall team effort,”  said Speraw. “I thought they (the Cougars) out worked us at time. They got on the floor before we did. We didn’t play well for big stretches of the game.

“I wasn’t happy with the way they were out working us,” added Speraw. “We needed to play our game. We needed to move the ball better. I thought we did a better job in the second half attacking, but we couldn’t get over the hump.”

 

 

 

 

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 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

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2017-18 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Schedule

Date Teams Results
12/08
6:00 pm
Red Lion
at Lebanon
51
59
12/09
7:45 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
49
46
12/13
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Governor Mifflin
58
60
12/15
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
40
75
12/18
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon
59
56
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick
51
58
12/22
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
31
44
12/28
6:00 pm
Lebanon
York Country Day
at Cedar Crest
58
48
12/29
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
38
50
1/05
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
49
51
1/06
5:00 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College
1/09
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hempfield
1/12
7:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
1/16
7:30 pm
Manheim Township
at Lebanon
1/19
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
1/22
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
1/23
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
1/26
7:30 pm
Penn Manor
at Lebanon
1/27
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Hershey
1/30
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
2/02
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon
2/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest

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2017-18 Palmyra Boys’ Basketball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
12/08
@Northern Lebanon
6:00 PM L 37-49
12/12 *
@Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM W 40-38
12/15 *
@Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM L 19-64
12/16
Milton Hershey
7:00 PM L 50-82
12/18 *
Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM L 50-59
12/20 *
Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM L 56-64
12/22
@Cocalico
7:30 PM L 31-41
12/27
@Elco
2:00 PM L 52-57
12/28
@Oley Valley
6:00 PM W 67-28
01/02 *
Red Land
7:30 PM L 46-49
01/05 *
@Hershey
7:30 PM L 35-60
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
01/06
@Lebanon
6:00 PM Lebanon High School
01/09 *
Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/12 *
Mechanicsburg
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/16 *
Susquehanna Twp.
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
01/19 *
@Cedar Cliff
7:30 PM Cedar Cliff High School
01/20
@West York
3:45 PM West York High School
01/23 *
@Bishop McDevitt
7:30 PM Bishop McDevitt High School
01/26 *
@Red Land
7:30 PM Red Land High School
01/30 *
Hershey
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
02/02 *
@Lower Dauphin
7:30 PM Lower Dauphin High School

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Milton Hershey 7- 0- 0  0.791728  1.000000  0.537173  7.7  91.4  0.0  78.8
2 Northeastern 8- 0- 0  0.788825  1.000000  0.530722  9.3  98.9  0.0  87.5
3 Lampeter Strasburg 8- 1- 0  0.772310  0.910995  0.602807  8.7  116.0  0.9  76.4
4 Greencastle Antrim 8- 1- 0  0.750669  0.914573  0.550343  9.1  104.4  0.9  85.3
5 Shippensburg 8- 1- 0  0.741716  0.893401  0.556324  8.8  112.6  1.1  89.8
6 Hershey 8- 1- 0  0.732761  0.914573  0.510547  9.1  106.5  0.9  102.1
7 Dover 8- 1- 0  0.727314  0.904523  0.510726  9.0  92.9  1.0  89.0
8 Lower Dauphin 7- 2- 0  0.723122  0.834197  0.587364  8.1  105.1  1.6  73.8
9 Exeter Township 7- 2- 0  0.719653  0.839196  0.573545  8.4  110.4  1.6  82.1
10 New Oxford 7- 3- 0  0.695101  0.764423  0.610373  8.0  119.5  2.5  76.3
11 William Penn 6- 3- 0  0.694092  0.764398  0.608163  7.3  96.9  2.3  62.4
12 Manheim Central 4- 2- 0  0.675374  0.730159  0.608414  4.6  122.2  1.7  78.7
13 Ephrata 7- 3- 0  0.664176  0.759434  0.547751  8.1  104.1  2.6  86.0
14 Donegal 6- 4- 0  0.634542  0.660000  0.603427  6.6  119.8  3.4  78.7
15 Waynesboro 5- 4- 0  0.601553  0.622857  0.575514  5.5  121.8  3.3  89.8
16 Garden Spot 5- 5- 0  0.597288  0.583333  0.614344  6.0  113.5  4.3  71.3
17 Big Spring 5- 4- 0  0.580827  0.595376  0.563045  5.2  106.5  3.5  82.7
18 Elizabethtown 4- 5- 0  0.572727  0.531073  0.623636  4.7  120.1  4.2  72.5
19 Muhlenberg 4- 5- 0  0.566570  0.526946  0.615000  4.4  116.9  4.0  73.2
20 Cocalico 4- 6- 0  0.566165  0.484211  0.666332  4.6  132.9  4.9  66.6
21 Northern York 4- 7- 0  0.521040  0.421053  0.643246  4.4  130.0  6.1  72.1
22 Gettysburg 4- 5- 0  0.514620  0.513966  0.515419  4.6  87.8  4.4  82.5
23 Conrad Weiser 4- 5- 0  0.500971  0.502924  0.498584  4.3  88.1  4.3  88.6
24 West Perry 4- 4- 0  0.496277  0.487179  0.507397  3.8  92.6  4.0  89.9
25 Mechanicsburg 3- 7- 0  0.460420  0.367021  0.574574  3.5  121.4  6.0  89.9
26 Solanco 2- 6- 0  0.460373  0.315068  0.637968  2.3  117.5  5.0  66.7
27 West York 3- 6- 0  0.454508  0.401130  0.519747  3.6  98.7  5.3  91.2
28 Daniel Boone 2- 6- 0  0.446122  0.283784  0.644535  2.1  102.9  5.3  56.8
29 East Pennsboro 2- 7- 0  0.394424  0.196319  0.636552  1.6  122.6  6.6  70.0
30 Susquehannock 2- 8- 0  0.387286  0.244681  0.561580  2.3  103.1  7.1  80.5
31 Palmyra 2- 9- 0  0.380266  0.216749  0.580120  2.2  115.9  8.0  83.9
32 South Western 1- 9- 0  0.366122  0.132184  0.652046  1.2  133.1  7.6  71.0
33 Spring Grove 1- 8- 0  0.363328  0.148387  0.626033  1.2  125.1  6.6  74.7
34 Red Land 1- 8- 0  0.349772  0.139394  0.606900  1.2  120.5  7.1  78.1
35 Fleetwood 2- 6- 0  0.343346  0.273973  0.428137  2.0  63.3  5.3  84.6
36 Twin Valley 2- 7- 0  0.338053  0.254545  0.440118  2.1  74.6  6.2  94.9
37 York Suburban 0- 8- 0  0.274611  0.000000  0.610246  0.0  107.8  7.0  68.9

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Reading 7- 1- 0  0.783968  0.914773  0.624096  8.1  77.7  0.8  46.8
2 HEMPFIELD 9- 1- 0  0.775415  0.935897  0.579270  11.0  108.7  0.8  79.0
3 Chambersburg 9- 2- 0  0.739721  0.878543  0.570050  10.9  91.6  1.5  69.1
4 Cedar Crest 8- 2- 0  0.738134  0.854545  0.595854  9.4  116.4  1.6  79.0
5 Manheim Township 6- 2- 0  0.724558  0.829545  0.596241  7.3  119.0  1.5  80.6
6 Wilson (3) 5- 3- 0  0.712398  0.723529  0.698792  6.2  130.2  2.4  56.1
7 Harrisburg 6- 2- 0  0.707729  0.824176  0.565406  7.5  71.8  1.6  55.2
8 Governor Mifflin 6- 4- 0  0.670165  0.696078  0.638493  7.1  100.9  3.1  57.1
9 Central York 5- 3- 0  0.661923  0.700000  0.615385  6.0  112.0  2.6  70.0
10 Cedar Cliff 7- 4- 0  0.656019  0.715556  0.583252  8.1  120.2  3.2  85.9
11 York County School Of Technology 6- 2- 0  0.646119  0.765432  0.500293  6.2  85.4  1.9  85.3
12 Carlisle 5- 5- 0  0.609092  0.621212  0.594279  6.2  96.6  3.8  66.0
13 Conestoga Valley 5- 6- 0  0.594119  0.544186  0.655147  5.9  135.6  4.9  71.4
14 Lebanon 4- 6- 0  0.579771  0.500000  0.677268  4.5  137.4  4.5  65.5
15 Cumberland Valley 5- 8- 0  0.579511  0.498008  0.679127  6.3  91.8  6.3  43.4
16 Dallastown 4- 5- 0  0.563737  0.537143  0.596240  4.7  112.6  4.1  76.3
17 Red Lion 4- 4- 0  0.563206  0.584416  0.537284  4.5  80.7  3.2  69.5
18 Penn Manor 4- 6- 0  0.553209  0.483871  0.637956  4.5  131.1  4.8  74.4
19 Central Dauphin East 2- 5- 0  0.503372  0.400000  0.629716  2.5  94.3  3.8  55.5
20 Warwick 3- 7- 0  0.499245  0.385870  0.637815  3.6  127.9  5.7  72.6
21 J P McCaskey 2- 7- 0  0.473865  0.306748  0.678118  2.5  117.5  5.7  55.8
22 Central Dauphin 2- 9- 0  0.430190  0.261780  0.636024  2.5  110.7  7.1  63.4

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